ILO in Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in the Philippines

Despite the abundance of natural resources around them, the indigenous peoples (IPs) in the Philippines, like their global counterparts, are ranked among the poorest and most disadvantaged sector. They are deprived of rights and opportunities to develop capacities to cope with the fast-changing social, economic, and political environment. The ILO supports the empowerment of indigenous women and men through a dual strategy of intervention, promoting policies to protect their rights, including through the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No.169) and supporting capacity-building initiatives through technical cooperation projects for indigenous peoples in their ancestral domains. The Convention is consistent with the framework established by a national law- the Indigenous Peoples Rights Action (IPRA) and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Many of the 110 ethno-linguistic indigenous groups in the Philippines experience discrimination, degradation of resource bases, and armed conflict. IP communities, generally located in distinct ancestral territories, have high rates of unemployment, underemployment, and illiteracy. While their socio-economic, cultural, and spiritual lives revolve around their ancestral domains, indigenous peoples see their ownership of land shrinking and disregarded.

To address challenges faced by indigenous peoples in the aftermath of natural disasters, the ILO produced various guidelines to implement culture- and gender sensitive disaster response.

The ILO currently supports a study on indigenous women and domestic work.

The ILO works with the United Nations Country Team in the Philippines in the context of the UN Inter-Agency Technical Working Group (UNIATWG). The group supports the Philippine UNCT members to effectively pursue common objectives on the promotion and protection of indigenous peoples’ rights, within the parameters of the UN Development Framework (UNDAF).

For further information please contact:

Ms Diane Lynn Respall
Senior Programme Officer, a.i.
International Labour Organization
Country Office for the Philippines (ILO CO-Manila)
19th Floor Yuchengco Tower
RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue
1200 Makati City, Philippines
Tel. +632 580 9900 or 580 9915